FRATELLI NAPOLI - Traditional Pupi Marionette

  • FRATELLI NAPOLI - Traditional Pupi Marionette
  • FRATELLI NAPOLI - Traditional Pupi Marionette
  • FRATELLI NAPOLI - Traditional Pupi Marionette

Energitismo Insight

Pupi are slightly different from normal marionettes. They have a special mechanical form which allows them to move quickly and with more accuracy. Generally, all the stories are about chivalry and there are wonderful chevaliers with their shining armour who fight for their honor and that of their dames. The fighting can be represented with pathos due to this special way to control movements.
The Sicilian marionette theater Opera dei Pupi started in the 17th century and in 2008 has been inscribed in the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage List. It is possible to find Opera dei Pupi theatres in Catania and Palermo, the two more important cities of Sicily, and their styles are slightly different. Pupi marionettes from Catania are taller (till 1,30 m) and controlled from the top; the controller is located on a hidden balcony over the stage. In Palermo, Pupi marionettes are smaller (0,80m) and are driven from a side hiding place on the same level of the stage.
Fratelli Napoli, and all their large family, have their own repertory of stories that has been created in nearly two centuries of activity. A visit to their workshop is a feature of any trip to Catania.

The Creator



Four generations of Napoli family have created the heritage. Fiorenzo is the artistic director of the Opera dei Pupi and he has spent a good part of this life teaching this art and spreading the tradition of Pupi so that it will not be lost. He received a Laura ad Honorem “Theatro Pupparum” in Holland.



Davide is the master of artisans. He started carving wood to create the heads and the busts of the marionette and since he has became a master of the ancient techniques of metalworking. He builds the armour following the almost completely disappeared technique of "puntiddi".

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Catania is an important Sicilian city laying south at the foot of the Etna volcano. Its story is intertwined with both the volcano’s activity - Etna destroyed part of the city in 1669 - and some terrible earthquakes. If you are fortunate to arrive in Catania by plane, you will be surprised by the powerful beauty of this often erupting volcano. A visit close to its crater with its lunar landscapes is one of the most intense experiences of all time.

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